If you decide on going in May or June to New York City, be aware that you made a good choice! In my opinion, these are just the best months to enjoy New York City, its streets and parks. The New Yorkers come back to life thanks to the sun and the first warm temperatures of the season.
In this post, you will find all you can do during this period of the year in NYC.
Due to Covid-19, New York City implemented public safety measures. Check here for updates:
– What you need to know about the Covid-19 health crisis in New York
The weather forecast for May and June
Temperatures highs: May: 22°C or 71°F //// June: 26°C or 78°F
Temperatures lows: May: 13°C or 55°F//// June: 18°C or 64°F
The month of May offers one of the best times to visit New York. Let’s just say that it’s warm enough to walk around New York streets and cool enough to be comfortable. Basically, an ideal time to visit NY before the busy summer season kicks in.
Regarding the month of June, it’s the first month where you can freely walk around New York without catching a cold and enjoy the beginning of the summer festivities in New York. So it’s warm but not scorching hot like what you experience in July or August in New York.
Public holidays in May
Memorial Day falls on the last Monday of May (this year, it falls on May 31, 2021).
It’s a holiday to remember those who fell to defend the United States of America. It’s also the kick-off of the summertime season for many Americans. Many New Yorkers enjoy their day-off since Memorial Day is a national holiday (banks, schools, and government offices are closed), barbecuing, and a day at the local park or beach are part of the ritual. Do not worry, most touristic attractions remain open on that day.
There will be several parades (TBC for 2021):
– In Manhattan: the parade will take place in Inwood, at the crossroads of Broadway and Dyckman Streets.
– In Queens: don’t miss the Little Neck-Douglaston, the biggest parade of New York. It starts at 2.00 pm on Northern Blvd (more info here).
– In Brooklyn: in 2021, it will be the 154th Memorial Day parade. It starts at 11.00 am at the crossroads of 87th St and 3rd Ave.
Cultural events in New York City in May and June
There’s a lot of free cultural events in New York in May and June!
Bryant Park Summer Film Festival
Bryant Park Summer Film Festival is a fest inviting you to watch free movies on a giant screen in Bryant Park every Monday at dusk from June to August (dates TBC for 2021). You can access the park easily with your blanket, your picnic and take a seat in front of the giant screen starting at 5 pm. Then, the movie will start at sunset between 8 and 9 pm. If the weather doesn’t permit the screening, the shows are canceled; there are no “rain dates”.
More information: www.new-york-city-travel-tips.com/new-york-bryant-park-summer-festival/
Shakespeare in the Park
Shakespeare in the Park is a 50+ years old tradition; a number of free shows brought together 100,000 people each summer at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Great artists like to participate in this tradition with people coming from around the world to celebrate Shakespeare and other classics. The tickets are free and are available at the ticket booth or online.
However, 2021 summer season is postponed to July-August. You can read more information and donate here.
More information: www.publictheater.org/Shakespeare-in-the-Park/
Museum Mile Festival
The Museum Mile Festival takes place every year, and it will be on June 8 this year on the 5th avenue (closed to traffic on that particular day) and a block away from the MET. You can enjoy musical and artistic entertainment for adults and kids. On top of that, entrance is free for 9 museums with activities such as music shows, performing artists on 5th avenue. There are also some stands with face painting and sidewalk art greatly appreciated by kids. This event takes place between 82nd and 104th street on 5th avenue.
More information: www.museummilefestival.org/
Washington Square Music Festival
The Washington Square Music Festival takes place every Tuesday in June with free concerts of diverse kinds of music: jazz, fado, classic music, salsa…
Parades in New York City in May and June
The sun and warm temperatures are back in New York City along with diverse parades!
AIDS Walk NY
The AIDS Walk is an annual March in the streets of New York to fight AIDS takes place on May 16, 2021. IT WOULD BE A VIRTUAL EVENT THIS YEAR. The walk was created in 1986 and brings around 50,000 people every year and raises close to 4.5 million dollars before the march even starts.
More information: www.ny.aidswalk.net//
On May 22, 2021, another event which takes place every year, the Dance Parade. THIS YEAR IS DIFFERENT AND THE PARADE WILL BE VIRTUAL. With the same spirit as dance and Fashion Shows around the world, the Dance Parade brings together different cultures and ethnicities in New York. The Dance Parade celebrates the history of dance and brings forward creativity, vivacity and beauty of diverse dance styles.
More information: www.danceparade.org/
Since 1984, the city of New York honors the US Navy and Marine Corps, called “Fleet Week”. This event will be held VIRTUALLY from May 26-31 with military demonstrations and the chance for the public to attend and visit the ships. The day of remembrances takes place on Memorial Day and is the highlight of the week of the festivities that include: Chorus, Air Force shows to honor those who fell for the US.
More information: www.militarynews.com/app/fleetweeknewyork/
Every year at the end of June, the Mermaid Parade takes place. HOWEVER THERE’S NO DATE FOR 2021 YET. It’s a well known parade where women disguise themselves as mermaids. The event happens on Coney Island and has been a tradition since 1983. The parade celebrates the sand, the sea, the salt in the air and especially the beginning of summer. The participants wear hand made mermaid costumes or other sea creatures. The parade is then followed by the Mermaid Parade Ball, a really great family friendly event. If you want to see unusual costumes, give it a try since there’s a good vibe, but wear your own costume!!! 🙂
More information: www.coneyisland.com/programs/mermaid-parade
New York City Gay Pride
The New York City Gay Pride lasts for the entire month of June. The celebrations are organized around several events from June 17-27, 2021.
More information: www.nycpride.org/events
Food events in May and June
New York offers great option to celebrate food!
Ninth Avenue International Food Festival
The International Food Festival on 9th avenue IS TBC for 2021. The Ninth Avenue International Food Festival has become one of the New Yorkers’ favorite events since its creation in 1973. 9th avenue closes to cars during the festival. For two days, the streets offer the scents of delicious dishes. Around 1 million visitors flock to the area located between 37th and 57th street and try a number of the different specialties offered. Moreover, the attractions go well beyond food and include music and dance shows. This is a great event for the whole family to attend.
More information: www.ninthavenuefoodfestival.com
Sport events in May and June
You can participate in sports events or reserve your seats to watch a game! Either way, there’s a lot of fun for sports lovers!!!
Five Borough Bike Tour
The Five Borough Bike Tour takes place every year, and should be on May 2, 2021. If you want to discover New York on a bike and ride a distance of 42 Miles (=67, 5 km), this is the event for you!!!! You’ll be allowed to bike around NYC car-free and especially to participate at one of the biggest biking events of the US, along with 30,000 bikers. Now, you need to know that registration is limited so if you’re interested, register ahead.
The trip will start in Lower Manhattan. You’ll head North toward the heart of Manhattan with Central Park, then Harlem and the Bronx before returning South along the East River on the FDR Drive. From there, you will ride toward Queens and Brooklyn, where you’ll head towards the highway before getting on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in Staten Island. The whole trip is about 42 miles, and mostly flat except for the bridges 🙂
More information: www.bike.nyc/events/td-five-boro-bike-tour
In May and June, even if there aren’t any NBA events, you can still watch Major League Baseball games in New York with their 2 teams : the Mets and the Yankees. Especially with the brand new Yankees stadium located in the Bronx!!!! Pure Bliss!!!
The second important professional sports available in May and June in New York is Soccer.
The team representing NY is called the New York City FC and they play at the Yankees Stadium. The other teem is the New York Red Bulls and they do not play in NYC or New York State but very close by in New Jersey, a 20 min train ride away from Manhattan.
Concerts and shows in New York in May and June 2021
New York is well-known for its shows on Broadway and concert in one of it’s typical venues, like Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden or the Barclays Center to only name a few.
The best thing you can do is revise the calendar of events that I keep up to date in NYCTT. You can find it here.
If you want to search for a special artist or venue in New York, you can also visit the TicketNetwork webpage and find out if your favorite singer will be in NYC during your stay there!
We’re all suffering big changes in our plans for 2021 due to Covid-19 pandemic. Stay safe and we will soon be able to travel again.
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